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Edited Tomatoes could be a new source of vitamin D
Posted by: Prof. Dr. M. Raupp (IP Logged)
Date: June 01, 2022 06:18PM

John Innes Centre (JIC) scientists used CRISPR-Cas9to shut off a
molecule in tomato plants and increase the concentration of provitamin
D3 in the fruits and leaves. The study, published in/Nature Plants/,
provides a simple solution to the increasing number of individuals
suffering from vitamin D insufficiency worldwide.

Vitamin D is naturally produced in human bodies after the skin is
exposed to the UVB light of the sun, thus it is known as the sunshine
vitamin. However, the major source of vitamin D precursors is food.
Vitamin D insufficiency has been linked to increased severity
ofCOVID-19infection, higher risk of cancer, dementia, and several other
diseases. Thus, the JIC researchers aimed to boost the provitamin D3 in
tomato plants for producing plant-based vitamin D3 supplements or food

Using CRISPR-Cas9, the research team switched off the Sl7-DR2 enzyme to
enable the accumulation of provitamin D3 7-dehydrocholesterol (7DHC).
This led to a substantial increase of provitaminD3 in the leaves and
fruits of edited plants. The edited plants were exposed to UVB light and
the 7DHC was successfully converted into vitamin D. Sundrying the edited
tomatoes could further boost the amount of vitamin D.

Gene-edited tomatoes could be a new source of vitamin D | John Innes
Centre (

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